8 Feb 2007

Environmentalist warns PNG's Ramu nickel/cobalt mine will impact cannery

11:45 am on 8 February 2007

An environmentalist scientist has warned that the operations of the Ramu nickel/cobalt mine may have an adverse impact on the future commercial viability of Madang's RD Tuna cannery in Papua New Guinea.

Private consultant Clement Kunandi Victor says the plan by Ramu Nickel mine to discharge its tailings in to the seafloor of the Basamuk Bay may cause damage around the area where RD Tuna catches its tuna to produce canned fish for both the domestic and export markets.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that the Chinese developer of the Ramu Nickel project plans to build its refinery at Basamuk Bay and tailings from the refinery would be disposed using the submarine disposal method into the seafloor via a pipeline at a depth of 150 metres.

Mr Victor says studies show that tailings may seriously affect RD's Tuna business.

He says fish will take in the toxic metals and further poison bigger fish up the food chain.